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The University of Wisconsin-Parkside's College of Business, Economics and Computing, also known as CBEC, offers internships in social media, outreach or website maintenance to students enrolled in CBEC majors. These internships give students an opportunity to expand on the skills that they learn inside the classroom. Under the supervision/mentorship of Trudy Biehn, Senior Academic Advisor and Dr. Michele Gee, the 2016/17 interns were (from left to right) senior Tony Aiello (Computer Science major, Web Development Minor, Cyber Security and Unix Administration certificates), sophomore Jill Zimmerman (Accounting, Finance and Business Management Major w/ concentration in General Business), freshman Crystal Caputo (Spanish and Business Management Majors with concentrations in Human Resource and General Business, Retail Management certificate), senior Alejandra Sanchez-Flores (Accounting and Spanish majors), senior Nancy Jaimes (Accounting and Spanish majors, Business Management minor, Sales certificate). Not pictured were fall 2016 only interns, Greg Axelson and Madison Wisialowski, both Management Information Systems majors. Through a variety of tasks the interns enhanced many of their professional skills.
The outreach portion of the internship was geared towards connecting students at local high schools and post-secondary institutions with the interns in the CBEC program. Schools visited were: Tremper, Bradford, Case, Wilmot, Indian Trail, and Westosha Central and Gateway Technical College. In classroom settings, CBEC interns provided information on all the majors, minors, and certificates that are offered by the college. They also communicated information on possible careers related to CBEC majors, study abroad, clubs/organizations, career development, internships, online degree program, graduate programs, and student involvement opportunities offered through CBEC. These presentations were organized to educate, connect, and excite potential CBEC students. At the end of the 2016/17 year, it was clear, the interns were well rehearsed and accomplished presentation speakers.
The internal UW-Parkside outreach part of the program provided an opportunity to work closely with incoming freshman as well as transfer students. Using the same presentation for outreach, they also assisted in helping students declare a majors, minors and/or certificates. Their guidance was invaluable to new students who appreciated peer perspectives. The interns also effectively helped students enroll and navigate the student registration system (SOLAR).
The CBEC interns proved to be experts with social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. These outlets were used to connect, advertise and convey information pertaining to CBEC. Information included internship fairs, employment opportunities, academic deadlines, study tips, study abroad opportunities, etc. Nancy Jaimes focused on CBEC's LinkedIn page and circulated professional activities offered by the college. Jill, Alejandra, and Crystal focused on CBEC's Facebook and Twitter pages and shared information on events, workshops, academic updates, etc. Tony Aiello put a great deal of effort in amplifying the CBEC website and keeping it up to date with student testimonials, news stories and improved navigation.
This group of interns also worked together in creating marketing materials for the College of Business, Economics and Computing. They each developed a variety of flyers that were displayed on the flat screens monitors throughout campus. Jill Zimmerman reached out to CBEC students to construct an article on Thailand Study Abroad trip this past winter break. The interns also participated in 2017 annual UW-Parkside Student Showcase where they created a poster and presentation demonstrating all of their accomplishments.
One of the highlights of the CBEC internship included an opportunity to act as judges at the 2017 Wisconsin DECA Career Development Conference held at the Grand Geneva Hotel and Resort in Lake Geneva. The event allows the interns to put their experience, skills, and knowledge to the test. The interns engaged and interacted with high school students through a variety of Business Situation Role Plays while judging in competitive events in Business Management, Finance and Accounting, Entrepreneurship, Hospitality and Tourism, and Marketing. DECA high school students came from all over the state to compete and hopefully advance to the National and International Career Development Conference held in Anaheim, California. Tony, Jill, Nancy, Alejandra and Crystal enjoyed sharing their time, wisdom, business expertise and industry experience with these students.
The CBEC Internship program is now in its 8th year, and like former CBEC Interns, this year's interns believed the entire experience provided an excellent opportunity for early "on-the-job training." Additionally interns, believed they not only successfully represented CBEC but the University of Wisconsin-Parkside as a whole. Their supervisors Trudy Biehn and Michele Gee agree….the 2016/17 CBEC interns were always willing and eager to serve as professional representatives and did indeed, successfully completed another excellent internship this past year.